Trans-Siberian Part 9: Moscow city centre
After dumping off my case with Mr "I Collect Money, Give Me A Dollar" (more on that later) I had about 9 hours to see the centre of Moscow. Initially I came out of the Metro at Biblioteka Im Lenina which was a short walk over to the entrance from the Kremlin. There seemed to be a big queue to get in, and I couldn't decide whether to do it or not, deciding in the end to give it a miss. I subsequently found out I could have easily spent 2 hours in that queue and gone nowhere, so that seemed to be a good choice from me.
Walked over the first loop of the Moscow river and then over to the second and Luzhkov bridge. The bridge is full of metal trees and Russian couples put a padlock on the tree to symbolise their love, and then throw the key into the river. The trees get filled up so quickly that the full trees are lined up not on the bridge but the embankment. The trees on the bridge at the moment were mostly empty new ones.
After another seemingly endless walk towards something that never looked quite so far away, I came into view of St Basil's Cathedral. Very few tourists or locals about though.
I soon found out why. Red Square was closed for the Victory Day celebrations, which take place on May 9 every year. In fact it had been closed for out two weeks. I was feeling glad that I hadn't made an early morning excursion to see Lenin's tomb as I'd originally planned. There were a few people up at the fences but not many, and beyond that there were people getting ready for the parade itself.
Just behind me was the famous GUM store, architecturally stunning but I didn't go in, not really my thing!
Having walked about 4 miles already I took a rest and had an ice cream in a Starbucks-knock off coffee shop (with no wi-fi - Moscow's not as advanced as you think) and then got the metro over to Sportivnaya to see the Novodevichy cemetery. I've never visited a cemetery before on holiday or for leisure and I'm not some kind of weird goth but if you ever visit one cemetery for non-personal reasons this is the one - according to Wikipedia it's Moscow's third most-popular tourist site. It's known in Russia as the second most important burial ground in the whole of Russia (the Kremlin walls are the number 1 and that's mainly reserved for past Communist leaders) so if you have time - a LOT of time - you can go searching for some of the famous people buried there, like Chekov, Tolstoy, Shostakovich, etc.
And if you do have all day, there's a handy guide.
Even if they're not utterly famous to us in the west there are still some amazing monuments there.
I didn't have so much time and I was exhausted through all the walking so just decided to take in the amazing tranquility of the place and not look for anyone famous. Oh okay, just one then - here's Boris Yeltsin.
|Next:||Trans-Siberian Part 10: Random Moscow|
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Last updated 01 June 2013 12:54
I think I'm meant to do an "About" here but I think you'd be more interested in seeing a random seagull.